Local Soil Testing
Understanding the Results of Local Soil Testing
Local soil testing from labs will provide a graphical representation of the results and the level of different nutrients from the soil with low, medium, high, or excessive ratings. Optimal and excessive levels mean that the nutrition concentration is adequate for optimum plant growth and if you add more than that, it won’t improve growth and could have negative effects on the environment.
There will be different abbreviations in a local soil testing report. The pH level is a measure of the soil’s hydrogen concentration. Anything below 7 is considered acidic and anything above is considered alkaline.
Macronutrients are required by the greatest quantity of plants. The ones tested include phosphors, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Micronutrients are required in small quantities. Elements that are tested include iron, zinc, copper, and manganese. Excessive levels of heavy metals can be a concern and can be a health hazard. These include lead, nickel, cadmium, and chromium. Organic matter includes living and decomposed animal tissue and plants. OM results are given on a weight basis.